Waiting for Godot is hailed as a classic example of the "Theatre of the Absurd," Such dramatic works present a world in which daily actions are without meaning, language fails to effectively communicate. The characters reflect a sense of artifice, even wondering aloud whether perhaps they are on a stage.
Waiting for Godot begins with two men on a barren road by a leafless tree. These men, Vladimir and Estragon, are often characterized as "tramps". The world of this play is operating on its own set of rules, its own system. There nothing happens, nothing is certain, and there’s never anything to do. Vladimir and Estragon are waiting for Godot, a man or perhaps a deity. The tramps can’t ...view middle of the document...
Yippee! Except not, since Vladimir’s comments suggest the Boy has said this before. Estragon and Vladimir talk about suicide some more and then resolve to leave the stage, since it’s nightfall and they no longer have to wait for Godot. Of course, having resolved to leave, neither man moves, and the curtain closes on Act I.
"Nothing to be done" is the opening line of the play coincides with, "Nothing is certain," and "Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful!"
The curtain opens for Act II which is remarkably like Act I. The men still sit around waiting for Godot and try to fill the idle hours in the meantime. Lucky and Pozzo show up, only this time Lucky has gone mute and Pozzo is blind. They move around the stage for a while, and Pozzo declares that, having lost his eyes, he now has no sense of time. Lucky declares nothing, because he’s mute.
Vladimir gets rather poetic in the meantime, wondering if maybe he’s sleeping, agreeing with Pozzo’s claim that life is fleeting, and concluding that habit is the great deadener of life. Pozzo and Lucky leave again, just in time for the Boy to show up right on cue and tell Vladimir that Godot isn’t coming today, but will be there tomorrow. Vladimir and Estragon contemplate suicide, but have no rope (they have in mind to hang themselves from the barren tree, since it’s the only prop around that could lend itself to such an endeavor). The men resolve to leave, since it is nightfall and they no longer have to wait for Godot, but neither man moves nor the curtain falls.
Waiting for Godot consists of two men unable to act, move, or think in any significant way while they kill time waiting for a mysterious man, Godot. The characters fail to realize that this very act of waiting is a choice; instead, they view it as a mandatory part of their...